Good morning, New York Giants fans! Here are your Sunday morning news and notes.
Reese open to Umenyiora extension | New York Daily News
When the 2011 season began, a frustrated Osi Umenyiora didn't even seem to want to be a Giant, and resolute GM Jerry Reese was prepared to engage in a standoff with the pass-rushing end.
One dramatic Super Bowl run later, the ice between both sides has thawed. On Friday, during a Sirius XM Radio interview, Umenyiora said half-jokingly that he would be willing to take less money to stay with the Giants. And on Saturday, Reese said that the Giants are open to negotiating a contract extension with the 30-year-old defensive end.
"It could happen," Reese said. "But we have a lot of issues to look at, and we just have to formulate a good game plan and see if we can get it done.
"I think he loves the Giants," Reese added. "He loves to play football. He's been with us his entire career, and I think he'd like to retire a Giant."
Manningham '75 percent' sure he's gone | New York Daily News
Mario Manningham is almost certain that his brilliant catch on the winning drive of Super Bowl XLVI will be one of his last in a Giants uniform.
The 25-year-old receiver is “75 percent” sure that he won’t be re-signing with the Giants when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 13. That’s what he told the Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator on Friday, when he returned to his hometown and was honored at his old high school and presented with a key to the city.
According to an NFL source, the odds of the Super Bowl hero leaving might actually be higher than that. The source, who has spoken to members of the Giants front office recently, said the Giants are preparing for free agency as if Manningham’s price will end up being far out of their range.
Manningham said “I’m ready for whatever,” and sounded like he’s already preparing to play elsewhere in 2012. After catching 160 passes for 2,315 yards in his four years with the Giants – including 39 for 523 yards in 12 games last season – he apparently agreed with the interviewer that it helped playing for an “elite” quarterback like Eli Manning.
“But there are a lot of good quarterbacks in this league,” Manningham said. “I just want the ball more, that’s all.”
NFL.com news: Stanford's Fleener has makings of next great NFL tight end
The copycat nature of the NFL is routinely revealed on draft day. Teams will attempt to duplicate the success of their rivals by acquiring players with characteristics and skills that are prevalent in the game's biggest stars.
Last season, the tight end position fueled the success of several high-powered offenses and teams have made working the middle of the field a priority in their game plans. Consequently, 17 tight ends finished the season with 50-plus receptions, including Jimmy Graham (99) and Rob Gronkowski (90), who also topped the 1,000-yard mark.
Given their success and the changing dynamics of the pro passing game, scouts are on the hunt for the next difference maker at the position. As I watch the first day of workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine, I'm convinced Stanford's Coby Fleener will be that guy.
NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Irvin: Impressive workouts reaffirm tight ends’ value in NFL "
I thought Clemson’s Dwayne Allen, Oklahoma’s James Hanna and Missouri’s Michael Egnew really cemented themselves as being more than capable to play in the NFL. Their numbers in the drills were phenomenal, and both of them did a good job catching passes.
And then, of course, there was Georgia’s Orson Charles. Man, can this kid play. But I’ll tell you what, forget his physical gifts. This kid showed me something else.
This game is too hard not to have guys like Charles on your team. Because when you play in this league, and it hurts, and you’ve got problems at home, and you’re feeling down, you need somebody who is going to pick you up. Charles was doing that all day in his group. He was the one revving those guys up, motivating them to go hard.
Notebook: Reese looking for Jernigan jump - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
It appears the Giants are looking for Jerrel Jernigan to step up this coming season, especially if Mario Manningham departs in free agency.
NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Reese: Giants’ acquisition of Cruz was lucky and good
"We missed him, too. We had him labeled just like everybody else - just a local free agent," Reese said. "He had a couple of redeeming qualities that we liked. We liked that he had some quickness. We liked his hands. We liked the way he understood the offense.
"But we had him rated just like everybody else: Just an undrafted, local free agent."